What do I do with all my stuff? Where do I put my valuables? How will I give them my keys? We're looking at all these questions and more in our 'How to Home Swap' guide to pre-swap prep
You've exchanged the money, packed the sunscreen and humbly bragged to all your friends about your amazing (and super cost-saving trip). But this isn't just any trip. It's a home swap - so what else do you need to do before you set off on your trip of a lifetime?
One of the real perks of home swapping is all that lovely space. Compared to the standard hotel room, even a London studio apartment is pretty spacious - so make sure your swappers are going to feel the benefit!
Make some space in drawers, wardrobes and kitchen cupboards so your guests can spread out and enjoy your home.
Lock up or move out
Got some valuables you want to keep away? Either securely stow them somewhere at home where you know they'll be safe (whether that's a high shelf or a filing cabinet) or move them out to a friend's or family member's.
Enlist some help
If you aren't going to be there to meet your guest, it's really nice to make sure you have someone they can contact in your town or city, just in case.
This is also a really helpful resource for exchanging keys.
Don't forget to leave their contact details in that guide of yours too.
No one wants to be welcomed to a new country and a friend's home to a dirty toilet and a sink full of dishes.
We really recommend chatting through cleaning before your swap so expectations are set early. Many swappers will get professionals in, but putting in some elbow grease to give your home a good spring clean should more than suffice.
If you've agreed no food included in your swap, of course this isn't needed - but most home swappers like to include some essentials.
Even if it's just bread, milk, tea and coffee it's nice to come 'home' having some of the work done for you - especially if your guests have had a long journey.
Get your guide on
It's really helpful to leave your guest a guide to your home and area to welcome them and remove any potential hurdles during the swap.
For a full guide on the information you should be including, read our dedicated guide
Warn the neighbours
It might sound silly, but without any knowledge of what you're doing, your neighbours could be alarmed if they start seeing strangers entering your home while you're away.
You don't need to shout it out to the whole street (although who are we to stop you?) - but having a word with your immediate neighbours might be an idea.
Check out the checklist
If you like a list to refer to we've got our ultimate checklist right here - complete with detailed breakdowns of each task.
Make it special
Our top tip for a happy swap is making sure your guests receive the warmest of welcomes.
And true to form, we have a guide for doing this too.